2. New Study Finds Organic Is Healthier
We've all suspected it. Now, a growing body of scientific
evidence is indicating that organic food is healthier than
conventional produce. Researchers from the University of
Copenhagen recently reported that organically grown produce
has higher levels of nutrients when compared with
Specifically, the organic crops had a higher concentration
of vitamins and far more secondary metabolites, which are
naturally occurring compounds that help immunize plants from
external attack. Some of these metabolites are thought to
lower the risk of cancer and heart disease in humans.
The research was funded by the United Kingdom's Soil
Association (the largest organic farmer organization in the
UK) and reported at the Association's January 8 conference.
These findings on the health content of organic food
contrast with research indicating that industrial
agricultural practices may be having a detrimental effect on
the nutritional value of conventional produce. (Detailed in
Organic View v.1 n.17, found at
http://www.purefood.org/organicview.htm) Those findings
* In an analysis of USDA nutrient data from 1975 to 1997,
the Kushi Institute of Becket, Massachusetts found that the average
calcium levels in 12 fresh vegetables declined 27 percent;
iron levels dropped 37 percent; vitamin A levels 21 percent,
and vitamin C levels 30 percent.
* A similar analysis of British nutrient data from 1930 to
1980 published in the British Food Journal found that in 20
vegetables, the average calcium content had declined 19
percent; iron 22 percent; and potassium 14 percent.
* A 1999 study out of the University of Wisconsin found that
three decades of the overuse of nitrogen in US farming has
destroyed much of the soil's fertility, causing it to age
the equivalent of 5,000 years.
* A new US Geological Survey report indicates that acid rain
is depleting soil calcium levels in at least 10 eastern
states, interfering with forest growth and weakening trees'
resistance to insects.
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)
An independent non-profit organization.
893 West Street
Amherst MA 01002-5001
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